Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
Configuring your speakers and crossover settings is always the most time-consuming task with any processor, but the P-2000 made the experience quite painless. Menus are intuitive and very straightforward. Each input gets its own configuration screen where you can set its physical input and surround mode, as well as make adjustments for bass and treble. It would have been nice to assign a custom name to each input since "Video3" can be so nondescript, but perhaps I'm nitpicking.
The supplied remote control is a learning unit, which features full backlighting. As supplied remotes go, I liked this one quite a bit. The buttons had excellent snap and the cursor controls for DVD and menu navigation were perfectly positioned.
Overall, I had very few problems setting up and using the A-2000 and P-2000. I wish Atlantic had thought to include the mini-plug necessary for using the low voltage power trigger between the pre/pro and amplifier, but there I go nitpicking again.
With the setup time and several break-in hours behind me, I was eager to throw some test material at this dynamic duo. First up came one of my favorite stereo tests, Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" off the City of Angels soundtrack. Running an analog signal from my Panasonic RP91 to the P-2000, I engaged the "Stereo Bypass" mode for a pure, unaltered rendering of the source material. And that's just what I got. I had to get off the couch several times to make sure my center speaker wasn't active because Sarah's vocals were perfectly centered. The P-2000 and A-2000 became completely invisible during this moving melody and every enunciation and breath came through with remarkable spaciousness and clarity.
Next came a multi-channel favorite of mine Queen's '39" from their DVD-Audio release of A Night at the Opera. This track has so much going on--from its deep bass to its high-pitched vocals--and everything came together beautifully. There were a few moments when I heard touches of brightness on the high end, but they were few and far between and the overall sound was decidedly neutral.
Thinking about those comic book movies inspired me to dig out some of my DVD favorites, namely X-Men and Blade II. In chapter 6 of X-Men, Wolverine takes a heavy beating before dishing it out, and each kick he received produced a thunderous bass in my listening room. Jumping over to Blade II, chapter 2 is an outright surround-sound extravaganza. The gunfire, hand-to-hand combat and Blade's spinning...well, blade, sounded just incredible. Bass was deep and sound appeared to be coming from everywhere at once. Even at below-reference volumes, the P-2000 and A-2000 really have what it takes to impress on a movie soundtrack.
I think it's clear from this review that both the P-2000 and A-2000 left quite an impression on me. The flexibility and bass management on the P-2000 are truly exceptional, but the question of value still lingers. Is the P-2000's price justifiable when Outlaw is selling the nearly identical Model 950 for half the price? For some, that's an easy question to answer. The A-2000, on the other hand, is a tremendous value and I'm hard-pressed to come up with negative feedback, except maybe its too-plain design. So there you have it--two great performers and one screaming value. Something tells me that there are many value-minded consumers out there who would consider an Outlaw Model 950 mated with Atlantic's A-2000 amplifier for a match made in heaven. I know I would.
Dolby Digital, EX, Pro Logic II
Cirrus Extra Surround
DTS, DTS-ES, Neo:6
Adjustable Crossover (40-150Hz)
6-channel Input High Pass Filter (80Hz)
4 optical, 2 coaxial digital inputs
6-channel analog input
5 AN inputs w/composite and S-Video
4 audio-only inputs
2 wideband component video inputs
1 optical, 1 coaxial digital outputs
1 composite, 1 S-Video monitor outputs
1 component video output
17.12"H x 4.6"W x 14.76"D
7 x 120 watts @ 8 ohms, 0.08% THD
Gold-plated RCA inputs
5-way speaker binding posts
DC Trigger for remote power-on
7.75"H x 17.2"W x 18"D
� Read high end�AV Preamp reviews from brands like Krell, Meridian, Anthem, Arcam, Sunfire, NAD and many others.
� Read�multi-channel audiophile amp reviews here.